official

noun
of·​fi·​cial | \ ə-ˈfi-shəl How to pronounce official (audio) , ō- \

Definition of official

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who holds or is invested (see invest entry 2 sense 1) with an office : officer government officials A company official responded to our request.
2 : one who administers the rules of a game or sport especially as a referee or umpire a football official

official

adjective

Definition of official (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to an office, position, or trust official duties official documents
2 : holding an office : having authority the president's official representative
3a : authoritative, authorized official statement an official biography
b : prescribed or recognized as authorized an official language
c : described by the U.S. Pharmacopeia or the National Formulary The official drug is sold under several trade names.
4 : befitting or characteristic of a person in office extended an official greeting official condolences

Other Words from official

Adjective

officially \ ə-​ˈfi-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce official (audio) , ō-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for official

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of official in a Sentence

Noun She interviewed a senior official from the previous administration. A company official responded to our request. Adjective She was accused of destroying official documents. Her illness did not prevent her from performing her official duties. The Vice President is on an official trip. We extended an official greeting to the ambassador.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The order comes after the Biden administration considered tightening requirements for international travel, a White House official told NBC News on Tuesday. NBC News, 2 Dec. 2021 Symone Sanders, senior adviser and chief spokeswoman to Vice President Kamala Harris, is planning to leave the White House at the end of the year, a White House official said. Tarini Parti, WSJ, 2 Dec. 2021 Then in August, an official with the National Labor Relations Board recommended that the results of the vote be set aside, determining that Amazon violated labor law. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 29 Nov. 2021 The White House is also organizing meetings with state health officials, members of Congress and governors during the coming days, a White House official said. Anchorage Daily News, 29 Nov. 2021 The deadline was originally set for Jan. 1 but now has been extended to Jan. 22, according to the Otay Mesa business organization and a report by the Associated Press, citing a senior White House official. Wendy Fry, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Nov. 2021 In response, the United States is pressing for access to cobalt supplies from allies, including Australia and Canada, according to a national security official with knowledge of the matter. New York Times, 20 Nov. 2021 Wang Hongcun, an official with the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau, acknowledged last week that strict containment measures may be contributing to the rising cost of food, adding that the cost of transiting across regions could increase. Jill Disis, CNN, 5 Nov. 2021 Flores went over to an official with the idea of calling a timeout but never did. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, 31 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Astros never made an official announcement about the deal since it hadn't been signed yet. Matt Young, Chron, 3 Dec. 2021 The official announcement of where UM will be headed will come Sunday. Keven Lerner, sun-sentinel.com, 3 Dec. 2021 But with the official announcement of the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage, that would be hard. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 1 Dec. 2021 The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither school was prepared to make an official announcement. San Francisco Chronicle, 29 Nov. 2021 Jacksonville State has not yet made an official announcement regarding its new coach. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 29 Nov. 2021 But thanks to a paper published in Nature in July 2020, the variant already has its official name: B.1.1.529. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 26 Nov. 2021 Which really helps make up for the new official name, which is kind of awkward. Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2021 The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee has scheduled a possible vote for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday on Senate Bill 258, the official name for the Senate GOP’s congressional plan. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 15 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'official.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of official

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

circa 1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for official

Noun

Middle English, "person presiding over an ecclesiastical court, domestic retainer," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin officiālis "person performing the duties of an office, head of an ecclesiastical court," going back to Latin, "attendant on a magistrate," derivative of officiālis "pertaining to fixed duties" — more at official entry 2

Adjective

Middle English, "functional (of a part of the body)," borrowed from Medieval Latin officiālis "functional, pertaining to duties of an office," going back to Latin, "pertaining to fixed duties," from officium "duty, office" + -ālis -al entry 1

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Time Traveler for official

Time Traveler

The first known use of official was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near official

office seeker

official

official at bat

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Statistics for official

Last Updated

6 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Official.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/official. Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for official

official

noun

English Language Learners Definition of official

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has a position of authority in a company, organization, or government : a person who holds an office
: a person (such as a referee or umpire) who makes sure that players are following the rules of a game

official

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of official (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to the job or work of someone in a position of authority
used to describe something that is said in a public way by someone in a position of authority
used to describe something that is done in a public and often formal way

official

noun
of·​fi·​cial | \ ə-ˈfi-shəl How to pronounce official (audio) \

Kids Definition of official

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who holds a position of authority in an organization or government

official

adjective

Kids Definition of official (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : relating to a position of authority official duties
2 : having authority to perform a duty the official referee
3 : coming from or meeting the requirements of an authority an official team baseball We're waiting for the official announcement.
4 : proper for a person in office The White House is the President's official residence.

Other Words from official

officially adverb

official

adjective
of·​fi·​cial | \ ə-ˈfish-əl How to pronounce official (audio) \

Medical Definition of official

: prescribed or recognized as authorized specifically : described by the United States Pharmacopeia or the National Formulary — compare nonofficial, unofficial

Other Words from official

officially \ -​ˈfish-​(ə-​)lē How to pronounce official (audio) \ adverb

official

noun
of·​fi·​cial

Legal Definition of official

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one who holds or is invested with an office especially in government a municipal official

official

adjective

Legal Definition of official (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or holding an office, position, or trust official duties
2 : fully authorized an official policy of the bank

Other Words from official

officially adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on official

Nglish: Translation of official for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of official for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about official

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